What Is Nattokinase?
Nattokinase is a natural enzyme derived from a Japanese Bean called Natto. This is a fermented cheese like food which has been used for over 2000 years in Japan as a folk remedy and has long been considered to be the key to low incidence of cardiovascular diseases and longevity in Japan.
The enzyme was discovered by Dr Hiroyuki Sumi who tested around 200 natural foods for their ability to dissolve the clot or thrombus. When Natto was dropped onto a thrombus, the thrombus dissolved completely in about 18 hours. The enzyme was named as “Nattokinase”, which means “enzyme in Natto”.
What is a Thrombus?
Thrombus is the other name for ‘clot’. A clot may be ‘soft’ or ‘hard’. The soft clot is formed by platelets sticking to each other inside the blood vessels. It converts in to hard clot when a hardening protein called Fibrin is laid down in this mesh of platelets.
The clots are continuously being dissolved in our body by the endothelial cells (cells lining inside the blood vessel wall). These cells produce ‘Plasmin’ and’ Urokinase’ which are the natural Clot Dissolving Enzymes of body.
As we age the ability of endothelial cells to produce these enzymes is decreased. As a result platelet and fibrin deposition goes on unchecked and thrombus builds up inside vessels of many organs. The blood flow to these organs is decreased and their function suffers. Thrombosis of coronary arteries results in Angina and Myocardial Infarction. Thrombosis in brain vessels may give Stroke, Dementia, Cerebral Hemorrhage or even Brain Infarction.
How Nattokinase works?
Nattokinase breaks down the fibrin network in the thrombus. It also activates Plasmin and Urokinase ———the natural Clot Dissolving Enzymes. Some cardiac patients may have an inherent imbalance in their ‘Clotting ‘and ‘Clot Dissolving Enzymes’. Nattokinase corrects this inherent imbalance and thus prevents thrombus formation in such patients.
How effective the Nattoinase is?
According to scientific literature, Nattokinase seems to be superior to Urokinase—-the enzyme currently being used by hospitals to clear the thrombus in patients with Myocardial Infarction or Stroke. Urokinase is given intravenously and the effect stops only few minutes after the infusion is stopped. Natokinase, on the other hand, can be taken orally. The effect lasts for 8-12 hours. It can dissolve the hard clot and there is no known side effect unlike synthetic blood thinners that may cause excessive bruising and bleeding.